In Cancun, the crowds start in mid-December. The start is High Season.
If you don’t plan on staying longer than three to five days, then prepare to think quickly about what to do first because Cancun is an endless source of entertainment.
From must-see Mayan archaeological sites and magical Caribbean beaches to shopping and crazy nightlife.
Weather in December
Cancun is located in the semi-tropical climate zone. Therefore, there are minimal temperature differences throughout the year. However, the average annual temperature is 260C, and 1400 millimeters of rain falls.
From November to April, a dry season is characterized by much less rainfall than the wet season. However, in December, it usually rains in short showers, which typically last an hour at maximum.
However, according to statistics, December, with seven rainy days, is the fifth rainiest month of the year, with an average of 87 millimeters.
The average temperature in December in Cancun is 240C. During the day, it is 26.10C, and at night it drops by only 30C to 23.10C.
However, it should be emphasized that the nights are enjoyable. The temperature sometimes drops to 180C, and on the hottest days of December, the temperature rises to 280C.
There are no mosquitoes in Cancun in December and throughout the dry season.
There are eleven hours of daylight from dawn to dusk in December, during which you can count on eight hours of full sun. Due to the high level of UV radiation, the mandatory use of protective creams is recommended.
The sea temperature is ideal for swimming and is 270C. Furthermore, since Cancun is home to Aquaworld, among many others that offer similar services, you will have the opportunity to swim, refresh, and have great fun.
Aquaworld organizes fishing tours, diving, parasailing, and snorkeling. As a result, marine life thrives off the coast of Cancun, from numerous fish species to magnificent coral reefs. For those who will dive for the first time, there is also a short course for beginners.
A unique adventure has been prepared for children and non-swimmers. It’s called Paradise Subsee or Subsee Explorer, but it’s a glass-bottomed boat that takes you to the coral reef of Punta Nizuc.
On the same tour, the underwater museum in Cancun is also visited.
The statues of marine clay provide habitats for exotic fish and other wildlife. By boat, you can reach the coral reef in about twenty minutes.
Then it takes about thirty minutes to see and enjoy the underwater world, accompanied by explanations from experienced guides. Refreshments are provided on the boat.
Children under the age of four are free of charge, and children between the ages of four and eleven pay only half the price.
In December, you can occasionally expect a wind from the north, which they call “el Norte.” In the dry season, it brings showers and short-term refreshments so that the temperature can drop to 230C and sometimes, although rarely, to 150C.
The tropical storm and hurricane season ends in November. It is relatively rare for this area to be hit by a hurricane, but when it does, it can be dangerous, as they are very destructive.
Although the hurricane season lasts from June to November, they most often appear from August to October.
In the forty years since Cancun became a tourist destination, it has twice been the target of devastating hurricanes.
First, on September 15, 1988, it was hit by Hurricane Gilbert, then on October 21, 2005, it was hit by Hurricane Wilma.
The rainy season in Cancun, which lasts from March to October, is primarily characterized by high humidity due to frequent and abundant rainfall, which is also short-lived, as is the case with those in the dry season, but very stormy and with a lot of thunderstorms.
Consequently, temperatures are much higher during that period.
Hotels in Cancun
The hotel zone in Cancun is located on a sandbar that is twenty-two and a half kilometers long.
There are almost a hundred hotels, restaurants, beaches, and shopping centers. It is not rare that tourists who visit Cancun do not leave the hotel zone for the entire duration of their stay.
There are about thirty thousand hotel rooms in Cancun, most of which are in the hotel zone.
The hotel’s offer is diverse and range from luxurious and all-inclusive to hotels with affordable prices, as well as hostels.
Hotels in the hotel zone are more expensive than those in the center of Calcúna, but you are careful not to think you are saving.
Still, you are increasing the cost and wasting time on a taxi to the beach, restaurants, or anything else you can afford only in the hotel zone.
There is also a price difference in the hotel zone itself. Those hotels on the lagoon’s shore are cheaper than those on the beach and facing the open sea. Hotels on the lagoon’s shores can even have similar prices as those outside the hotel zone.
Most hotels are all-inclusive, but not all have the same prices. There are those for deeper pockets, and there are also those where you will find prices that fit your budget.
However, the all-inclusive offer of a hotel can be a significant saving of both time and money.
At least three-quarters of the hotels in the hotel zone have the highest ranking in the hotel industry in Latin America.
But it’s as if Cancun’s five-star service quality rating has become so commonplace that it’s taken everything to another level.
The exclusive AAA Five Diamond award for luxury and sophistication has been awarded to three Cancun hotels: Ritz Carlton Cancun, JW Marriott Cancun Resort and Spa, and Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach.
Beaches in Cancun
Almost all beaches in Mexico are public and accessible. But you should not be surprised if some parts are reserved only for hotel guests. Cancun has as many as eleven public beaches in the hotel zone. Still, besides those beaches near Cancun, there are many more.
For example, only thirteen kilometers away, surrounded by warm seas, Isla Mujeres and on it is a real jewel among Cancun’s Playa Norte beaches.
After all, only forty kilometers south of Cancun is the village of Puerto Morelos, after which the Riviera Maya begins. And the Riviera Maya is one hundred and twenty kilometers of beautiful beaches, with Playa del Carmen, Puerto Aventuras, Akumal, and Tulum.
Puerto Morelos itself has become increasingly attractive for tourists in recent years.
Especially in December, when the primary tourist season begins, and Cancun is full of tourists, this small town without grandiose hotels and resorts can be interesting for its relaxed atmosphere, traditional architecture, and more accessible accommodation.
Both restaurants and hotels and small craft shops and shops, everything exudes local sentiment. Finally, Arrecife National Park is located near Puerto Morelos.
But what would leave the beaches of Cancun, which many claims are the pearls of the Yucatan?
But, of course, when you come to Cancun, you enjoy Cancun. So here are just some of the beaches in Cancun that will enchant you with the exotic charm of the Caribbean.
Playa Tortugas will give you precisely that charm. It is located in the north, next to the hotel zone, and is very popular among the locals.
You can quickly transfer from this beach to Isla Mujeres because ferries to the island depart from the nearby pier.
But once you get to Playa Tortugas, you won’t immediately want to leave its white sands.
Playa Forum is already the complete opposite. Apart from the same perfect fine sand and wonderfully transparent sea water as at Playa Tortugas, everything else is different.
This beach is located a few steps from the noisy, bustling tourist center of Calcun, in the middle of the hotel zone.
According to many, Playa Delfines is the most beautiful beach in Calcun. Some may disagree with that, but if it is not the most beautiful, then there is no doubt that it is the most spacious and very popular.
It is located in the hotel zone and is often called El Mirador.
Playa Chac Mool
Playa Chac Mool is located in the hotel zone next to Playa Forum, but it is much more relaxed, slower-paced, and quieter.
If you opt for this more silent version of enjoying the beach, away from the heated and noisy atmosphere of Playa Forum, only sometimes will the sounds reach you.
And finally, let’s go back to the beaches outside Cancun, on the Riviera Maya, and mention only the most popular ones because they deserve it.
First of all, there is the wonderful Playa Paraiso in Tulum. From Cancun to Tulum is 130 kilometers and usually takes ninety minutes.
According to Tripadvisor’s Travelers Choice, Playa Paraiso has already been named the best beach in Mexico twice, and it is in the twenty-first place in the list of the best beaches in the world.
A little closer to Cancun is Playa del Carmen. It can be reached in about forty minutes.
However, unlike Cancun, the atmosphere is more relaxed, and right next to the coast, there is a magnificent coral reef that is the second largest in the world.
Fun on the water
When you were leaving for Cancun, did it ever occur to you that you would swim with dolphins right in the Yucatan, in the Mayan Empire?
And even if you’ve never thought about it, you can do just such an exciting and unforgettable thing in Cancun – to swim with dolphins!
Or go on a speedboat adventure through the mangrove forest.
Or have a selfie as a flying superhero?
Whichever way you choose from what Cancun offers in terms of water fun, you’re sure to have a great time!
Flyboarding is fun for raising adrenaline. Twenty minutes of a dizzying ride on a board lifted eleven meters above the water surface by a water jet.
However, the instructors claim this sport does not require any previous experience and is a safe pastime. They say that after five minutes of practice, you can Flyboarding entirely safely.
Jet skis are rented and driven outside the lagoon. Free transportation is usually provided to the rental location from any hotel, whether in the hotel zone or downtown.
The vehicle is rented for a thirty-minute drive for two people, and the price is the same if only one person rents it for himself.
Here’s another adrenaline-pumping party. Are you dreaming of being Rocket Man or Submarine Man?
Your dreams will come true because you will fly, walk on water, and dive, and all the time, the speed will be adjusted via the remote control by the instructor, with whom you will be in contact the whole time through hermetic headphones in the helmet.
It is possible to rent Jet Skis and parasailing equipment. It is the best way to get a bird’s eye view of Isla Mujeres and Nichupte Lagoon.
Skyrider Parasailing Experience
The equipment is designed to allow two comfortably seated people safely enjoy ten minutes of flight over the lagoon. Even slightly detaching from the back platform of the boat and rising into the air is an unforgettable experience.
Scuba diving is the best way to explore the underwater world. A beautiful, colorful world of tropical fish, turtles, and rays inhabits the coast of Yucatan.
Munchones Reef, which is extremely shallow in some places, offers the best opportunity even for those who cannot hold their breath for very long.
Swim with dolphins
Swimming with these friendly animals is the most popular water activity. It is possible to swim with dolphins in several places in Cancun.
Boat trip around Cancun
You can cruise on the lagoon and partly on the open sea, and you can also go fishing. Mackerel and barracuda are fished in December.
Jungle Tour is a half-day guided tour to Nichupe lagoon. The drive through the mangrove channels to the coral reef of Punta Nizuc is fifteen minutes long. You can also rent the necessary equipment for diving and enjoy forty-five minutes in the endless blue full of colorful fish.
It is good to rent a paddle board if you want to ride in calm and shallow waters with friends and chat. They are rented for one or more hours. Inexperienced people have the opportunity to learn to row comfortably with the help of an instructor.
Shopping in Cancun
Plaza Las Americas
Plaza Las Americas is a large indoor shopping mall. It is located on Avenida Tulum, in the very center of Cancun.
In addition to international brands, you will find many Mexican brands here and products from local manufacturers.
There are numerous restaurants in Plaza Las Americas where you can order local specialties. In addition, this mall is a favorite place for shopping among locals.
La Isla Paradise Experience
La Isla Paradise Experience is located in the hotel zone. Unlike Plaza Las Americas, it is not indoors.
If you want to avoid the heat while shopping, this should not be your choice, but La Isla Paradise Experience is suitable for families with children due to its facilities.
In addition to many entertainment facilities, it also offers places for children to play, has numerous fountains, has the Cancun Ferris wheel, and, perhaps most interestingly, is crisscrossed by many canals.
The Cancun Interactive Aquarium is nearby, and the golf club is a little further away.
Plaza la Fiesta
If you go shopping to buy souvenirs, this place in the hotel zone is what you need. In addition to exciting souvenirs, you will also find jewelry, silverware, pottery, and various handicrafts from Mexican artisans.
Different from some souvenir shops where you can negotiate the price, this is not the norm at Plaza la Fiesta.
It is located near the Coral Negro Market and is very noticeable due to its yellow facade.
Luxury Avenue Shopping Mall
As the name suggests, here you will find the most famous fashion brands and luxury products in this shopping mall, which is also located in the hotel area.
It is interesting that amid all that glamor and luxury, there are also several souvenir shops.
If you decide to go shopping in the center of Cancun, you will not regret it because, in addition to shopping, you will also experience something of the daily life of the locals of Cancun.
Avenida Tulum includes several neighborhoods in the center of Cancun and is home to numerous shopping centers, local department stores, markets, clothing and shoe stores, and restaurants whose menus feature traditional Mexican cuisine.
Las Plazas Outlet Cancun
In Las Plazas Outlet Cancun, in addition to shopping, you can go to the cinema, have refreshments or dine in one of the restaurants that are part of it, or try your luck in their casino.
Fashion Harbor is an indoor mall where you can find some of the most luxurious fashion brands. In the immediate vicinity, on the coast, there are several restaurants where you can refresh yourself.
Puerto Cancun Marina Town Center
Puerto Cancun Marina Town Center is in the hotel zone right on the coast, overlooking the marina.
Menus in restaurants abound with dishes from various cuisines of the world.
Here is a real, local Mexican market. Come here and argue and haggle to your heart’s content because the sellers who will offer you their products are used to it, as well as the locals who primarily buy the groceries they need for the house at this market.
Boulevard Kukulcan presents many restaurants, shops, and bars. It is usually full of walkers and cyclists.
In addition to the luxury shops, you will come across a few shops of local products, and then a little further to the shopping center and so on in a circle.
It’s the same with the restaurants on Boulevard Kukulcan. If you are hungry, you can choose from stands and kiosks with fast food to restaurants with extravagant menus.
Coral Negro Flea Market
The Coral Negro Flea Market is a real gem for anyone looking for interesting souvenirs.
Recognizable brightly colored pottery, jewelry made of silver and semi-precious stones, a large selection of sombreros, traditional Mexican clothing, and distinctive alcoholic beverages, from tequila to various liqueurs obtained by fermenting honey from the nectar of tropical flowers.
La Isla Shopping Village Cancun
In La Isla Shopping Village Cancun, you will come across duty-free shops where you will be completely surprised by the low prices.
In addition, you can shop in luxury boutiques where the prices are drastically higher, refresh yourself in restaurants or go to the cinema.
It’s okay to think of Venice while exploring La Isla Shopping Village Cancun because it’s no accident. This shopping center was decorated inspired by Venice.
Nightlife at the clubs
Here is a slightly different party in Calcuno. All the clubs that we will recommend are located in the hotel zone itself.
But, of course, besides these clubs, there are many other places where you can have fun because the nightlife in Cancun is dynamic and full of adrenaline.
Nightclub La Vaquita is a party on the open terrace. It is famous for its go-go dancers, good music from world-famous DJs, and “litros.” “Litros” are one-liter cups of your choice of drink from the open bar menu.
On Saturday nights, La Vaquita hosts wacky. First, let’s get Ridiculos-themed nights. Then you need to dress as wacky as possible to look silly. But don’t worry, everyone, even employees, must do it.
Admission is $60.
During the day, Mandala is a beach club, but as night falls, it transforms into a wild, raucous club.
Asia inspires the decor. The music is electronic, reggaeton, and pop.
Admission is $60 and up, depending on the service you request.
Abolengo can serve as a starting point and an initial warm-up for a later party in another club, such as the wild Mandala.
The music is live, and the food is excellent.
Price from $150 for four people and up, including table reservation fee and food and beverage credit.
Coco Bongo is an international club, and Cancun is one of its three locations.
It is one of the most popular clubs in Cancun.
Price ranges from $86 per person to $126 per person.
Hroof is so luxurious that it resembles a private club. There is a dress code.
The City Cancun
The City Cancun club is on three levels. It is only open on Sundays. He has been working for seventeen years.
Get to know the ancient Mayan
You can start getting to know the civilization of the ancient Maya already in Cancun, in the Maya Museum, and you can see the archaeological remains in the hotel zone at the El Rey site.
The ruins of El Rey bear witness to a settlement essential to the Maya trade route. In that settlement, there was a cemetery for royal families and a center for the study of astronomy.
Several large buildings are on the site, and you can see the “solar face king” sculpture a little further down the same street at the Cancun Mayan Museum.
The locality got its name in Spanish from that sculpture since the title of this settlement in the Maya language is unknown.
Cancun Mayan Museum
The Cancun Mayan Museum is designed so that the entire space looks as it did centuries ago.
It has open spaces, a view of the tropical forest, a rare piece of untouched jungle in the hotel zone, and a view of the Nichupte lagoon.
The museum’s permanent collection of over three thousand five hundred artifacts is displayed in three exhibition halls.
The Mayan Ruins of Coba
The Mayan Ruins of Coba are 160 kilometers from Cancun. The name itself means “wind-stirred waters” in the language of the ancient Maya.
The curiosity of this site is that not everything has been excavated, so you pass by ruins almost entirely covered by trees.
This locality, open for visitors from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., can be visited on foot, with a leisurely walk, but you can also rent a bicycle. The price of one ticket is 4 USD.
The largest pyramid is 42 meters high and has 120 stone steps. Visitors are allowed to climb to the top of the pyramid!
Suppose you ask one of the locals of Tulum how far Calcun is from their city.
In that case, they will jokingly tell you that it is precisely 130 kilometers to Calcun, but also 700 years, alluding to the fact that until 1974, in the place where the big Cancun resorts are now a poor fishing village, and Tulum was built at the end of the 13th century, in the so-called postclassic Maya period.
Tulum was a trading seaport of the Mayan people, surrounded by a protective wall.
The wall is made of limestone, seven meters thick, and it is five meters high in some places. It is 784 meters long. The primary commodities for trade were turquoise and jade.
Chichen Itza was the religious and economic center of the Maya. It covers 25 square kilometers, and the most significant attractions are within 5 square kilometers. The most famous is undoubtedly the Kukulkan pyramid, but there are also observatories and playgrounds.
The Kukulkan pyramid is called the giant calendar in the world because it was built so that this would be its primary purpose.
Architecturally, this pyramid represents the pinnacle of Mayan skill in erecting monumental buildings, but at the same time, it testifies to a vast knowledge of astronomy.
Among the playgrounds in Chichen Itza, the largest is 166 meters long and 68 meters wide. Balls made of raw rubber were found on the playgrounds, and the largest was half a meter long.
If we were to compare the sports that the Maya played with today’s sports, the closest would be to say that it is between football and basketball.
The Karakol Observatory is a massive building that has a dome with many openings. The function of those apertures was that certain constellations could be seen accurately through them.
Chichen Itza is 200 kilometers from Cancun and can be reached in about 2 hours and forty minutes.
Transportation in Cancun
The service and entertainment options in the hotel area are such that many places can be reached within easy walking distance.
Still, if you want to get to the point further afield or go outside Cancun, you would have to use buses, a ferry, or a taxi.
Buses run around the hotel zone 24 hours a day. The ride costs 40 cents. The stations are well laid out, and finding your way around the city is easy.
There is a ferry service to Isla Mujeres and some beaches outside Cancun. Departures are from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The price difference between a bus ticket and a taxi is less significant than one might think initially. However, the advice is to first agree on the price with the taxi driver before departure.
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